Should I be doing Panda shots on this stuff?
We had a three day, all Christmas blizzard that left 10 inches of snow. They were predicting up to 20, but it rained in the middle, instead. I would have preferred the extra 10 inches to the icy result. But it's best to take what you're given and make the best of it. I waited until the final day of the storm to go out for a bike ride. On the first leg over to my Chai-house, I was thinking this winter biking really shouldn't be for everyone. It was a bumpy, slippery, white knuckle ride. How slow can you go? Glad I was riding Frankie, the Dutch bike monster. He does slow very well.
Handle bars are for hanging stuff on.
After a warm and wonderful Chai, I ventured out to try and find some other rugged individualists riding their bikes. In the spirit of cooperation and not holding a grudge, I helped push three cars that were stuck in the snow. They all had to get their vehicles off the even numbered side of the street or risk getting towed for blocking the snow plows. What a pain having a car! I don't mind helping out. Chip some ice, shovel some snow and push. Kind of fun to pull up on a bike, park it with the double kickstand and offer to help. Plus, I got some ginger bread cookies from one woman.
After some treacherous neighborhood adventuring, I headed to where the cars aren't, the Midtown Greenway(not so green, right now). There I finally found some fellow iciclebicyclists! One thing that disappointed me, was that none of the cyclists I encountered(except one friend) was in anyway friendly. They just looked at you like you were bothering them. I'm thinking you should be happy to see other bikers on day with so few. Thinking about it later, I chalked it up to fact that they were just as unsure as I was on this days challenging surface, and couldn't break their concentration to acknowledge their kinfolk.
After meeting up with a friend for dinner, I made the return trip loaded down with groceries. This leg of the adventure was the easiest. I was starting to get the hang of it, but I also think the 3 bags of groceries increased the bikes stability. Nice to finish on a relaxed note after an intense day getting acquainted with my new environment.
Three days riding since, and I am gaining confidence on my new winter bike. Tonight, I was riding down the hill towards Loring Park and I noticed that the packed snow on the path had a glaze to it. Another cyclist had decided to walk their bike down instead of chancing it. I eased up, but continued down the hill looking for matte surfaces. Frankie didn't have any trouble with the ice glaze and rode it with ease. Of course confidence can lead to overconfidence, which can get you in to trouble, real quick. At the same time, every ride, I get to know my bike a little better. Frankie maybe tall, but he has been very stable compared to my old winter bike. He's not fast, but fast isn't what's called for.